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How To Power Cycle Modem


Sometimes your modem can fail to connect to the internet or suddenly lose connection. When that happens, you must take action quickly to resolve the problem, especially if you are in the middle of something important that requires an internet connection. Things like being overloaded by too much information and/or overheating can affect the performance of your modem. Power recycling can help refresh the internal memory and allow the device to cool down and continue functioning normally. 

Quick Answer

Power cycling a modem means rebooting it by disconnecting it from the power outlet, waiting at least 30 seconds, and then plugging it back in. Unplugging the device and waiting for the mentioned time allows it to resolve any software and hardware-related issues that may be preventing it from performing properly. 

Check out the steps below to power cycle your modem. They are easy to understand, and they will help troubleshoot any problems that you may be experiencing. 

Four Steps To Power Cycle Modem

You can resolve slow or no internet connection issues by power cycling your modem. The process is easy, and anyone can do it in minutes. The following are the steps to follow.

Step #1: Unplug Your Modem

Unplug your modem and other devices you might have connected, including the router (if you have one). Most modems don’t come with a power button and the easiest way to power cycle it is to pull the power cord out of the power outlet. 

Step #2: Wait for Memory To Clear

Be patient; wait for 30 to 60 seconds before plugging the modem back in. Waiting for this amount of time allows the device’s RAM to clear in case it’s overloaded with information. It also allows the device to cool down as the problem could also be caused by overheating. 


Your modem could have a backup battery. In that case, you have to remove the battery to allow it to turn off completely. 

Step #3: Plug the Modem Back In

After waiting for at least 30 seconds, plug your modem back into the power source first, followed by your router. Monitor the panel lights on the modem for 1 to 5 minutes. The “WAN” light should become green to show that it has connected. Now plug the router in.  

Step #4: Connect to the Internet

Connect to the internet with your PC and test if the connection is as strong as it should be. Connect with an Ethernet cable (if you have one) first for better testing. After that, reconnect your device as usual, and hopefully, your problem will be resolved. 


Avoid using a “Restart” or “Reset” button on your modem. The button might initiate the factory restore or reset process. Unplugging is the sure way of power cycling the modem. 


Power cycling your modem can resolve a lot of issues, including overheating, slow internet, and even lack of connection. However, you may not be able to find a solution when you’re facing one of these issues if you don’t know how to power cycle a modem. 

It doesn’t need to give you a headache as it’s a matter of four simple steps that we have discussed above. All you need to do is unplug your modem, wait for at least 30 seconds, plug it back in, wait for 1 to 5 minutes for it to establish a connection, and reconnect your devices to the internet!

We’ve also learned that you should avoid using the “Reset” or “Restart” button on your modem as that could restore or reset it to factory settings. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it okay to power cycle my modem?

Try to periodically power cycle your modem to ensure it is performing optimally as far as keeping you connected to the internet is concerned. Sometimes your modem can encounter a connection issue from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) end. Power cycling should be the first course of action to take when that happens. 

Can my modem increase speed if I reset it?

Yes, resetting your modem may force it to choose a less congested channel, which can temporarily increase speed. However, you still need to take care of other factors that can help increase your overall Internet speed. 

How often should I power cycle my modem?

There’s no precise answer as to how many times you should power recycle your modem. In general, try to reboot the modem at least once a month. As we mentioned earlier, power cycling can resolve several issues, including a slow internet connection. 

Is there a difference between reboot and power cycle?

Yes, there’s a slight difference between these two. Rebooting is similar to restarting a device and is mostly used to restart an operating system. On the other hand, a Power cycle happens to be a situation where you turn off a device, drain the power (for at least 30 seconds) and then turn it back on.

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